ALEC, the extremist group that is funded by major corporations to protect corporate interests, has an amazing number of members in the Ohio legislature. That explains why the Ohio’s legislature keeps passing laws to privatize public schools.

Education is a top priority for ALEC.

ALEC strongly supports charter schools and vouchers.

ALEC loves virtual learning, because it diverts public dollars to pay corporations to enroll home-schooled students. The virtual charters get terrible academic results, but they are profitable and they undermine public education. To ALEC, that constitutes success.

ALEC hates unions, hates tenure, hates teacher certification, wants teachers to be at-will employees whose salary is tied to student test scores.

 

Here is a post from Bill Phillis of the Ohio Education and Adequacy Coalition:

 

466 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills introduced in 2013: Legislator “scholarships” may be a factor

 

8/13/13

A report by the Center for Media and Democracy identifies 466 ALEC bills introduced in state legislatures across the nation in 2013. 139 of these ALEC bills affect public education. 31 of these education bills became law this year.

Only seven states didn’t have an ALEC education bill introduced this year. To view the report:http://www.sourcewatch.org/images/8/88/ALEC_report_2013.pdf

ALEC is a champion of charter schools and voucher legislation and thus is geared toward starving the public common schoolK-12 Inc., the nation’s largest provider of online charter schools paid its CEO Ron Packard $5 million in total compensation in 2011. Additionally, Packard owns millions of dollars in company shares, not a bad compensation package for a school superintendent. He is on the ALEC Education Task Force.

The Ohio Virtual Academy charter school is operated by K-12, Inc. Ohioans should recognize that tax dollars (deducted from school districts) are being used to support a superintendent’s salary of $5 million plus millions in company shares while many school districts are cutting essential programs and services due to lack of funds.

Money spent on advertising is another issue. This expenditure by for-profit charter schools is not only a slap at public school districts but it shortchanges educational opportunities for charter school kids.

Ohio taxpayers are subsidizing outrageous salaries and benefits of for-profit charter operators, and slick, expensive marketing. On average, charter schools spend twice as much per pupil on administration as traditional school districts.

An August 11, 2013 Columbus Dispatch article states, “About a third of Ohio House Republicans-including Speaker William G. Batchhelder-attended the American Legislative Exchange Council gathering last week at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.” ALEC provides “scholarships” for legislators to attend ALEC sponsored events. The Dispatch article cites a study by Common Cause and the Center for Media and Democracy that indicates Ohio legislators have walked away with $75,000 in ALEC “scholarships” to attend such events as receptions at professional baseball games, cigar parties and skeet shoots.

During annual ALEC meetings, corporate lobbyists and allied legislators get together to vet legislative proposals. One can bet the farm that the corporate lobbyists are not trying to convince legislators to focus their efforts on improving the public common school system.

Ohio Legislators with ALEC Ties (as of 2011) can be found at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Ohio_ALEC_Politicians

Below is listing of some of Ohio’s state officials who are members of ALEC:

House of Representatives

Senate

Former Representatives

Former Senators

  • Sen. Robert. C. Cupp (R) currently sits on OH Supreme Court. [40]
  • Sen. Grace L. Drake(R)[41]
  • Sen. Michael A. Fox. (R) was director Butler County Children’s services, currently serving prison term for corruption.[42]
  • Sen. Tom Niehaus (R-14), ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force Member[43]
  • Sen. Lynn Wachtmann [35]

One of the missions of ALEC is to replace the public common school system with private market-driven education thrift stores. Some Ohio legislators will press forward the concept of a voucher for every student. Read the next email from the E & A Coalition.

William Phillis
Ohio E & A 

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